Saga map from Cranky Food Friends. All art created by my art team and myself. © SEGA
Cranky Food Friends was a new IP for Sega that I helped design from the ground up. The gameplay, a match four puzzle game with card battle and RPG elements was already set when I was asked to come up with a look and feel for a food game that would appeal to casual female puzzle fans.
A softly shaded attempt, done before I was asked to take a stab at the theme, had tested poorly. So I pulled inspiration from Etsy, Pinterest, webcomics, and internet memes that were beloved by the women we hoped would love our game, and designed super simple, grumpy characters with a subtle paper texture, giving the game a bit of a cut paper feel that would feel hipper and craftier.
The art tested through the roof and throughout development always came back rated as players' favorite aspect of the game.
The saga map shown above was designed to be modular. I wanted to give the level designers the ability to add levels or change the sequencing of areas without requiring us to repaint the map.